The new sculpture trail in Fforest Fawr, Tongwynlais, has been unveiled by award winning artist Simon O’Rourke. Ten new sculptures featuring beautifully carved animals will be installed by the end of the week.
Natural Resources Wales commissioned Simon to create a series of sculptures with a wildlife theme, that would appeal to children and families and include an educational element. Simon explained, “They gave me a list of the wildlife that are here now and a list of the wildlife that are locally or nationally extinct.” Every sculpture was carved from one giant redwood tree, which are native to North America.
The tree was originally in the centre of Oswestry and removed because it was dying and posed a danger to the public. The wood is very hard wearing and will last several decades. Simon explained that although the colour is quite pink at the minute, it will fade to a dull red/brown colour and become darker over time.
Each sculpture will feature a poem, written by its creator, telling a story as you follow the trail. The sculptures are fixed with ground screws to avoid using concrete, which isn’t good for the environment.
The beetle is a Devil’s coach horse, which are aggressive, carnivorous predators.
If you want to see how a tree sculpture is created, watch Simon at work in this time-lapse video.